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10 Creative Trade Show Booth Ideas for 2021

As we enter a post-pandemic world, businesses across the globe are looking to pick up where they left off. That means re-energized marketing and lots of customer-centric events. Business travel is kicking off, and trade shows are coming back in full force. Given the struggles of limited in-person activity over the last year, it’s more important than ever to refresh your strategies, and trade shows offer a terrific opportunity to do so. Check out these trade show booth ideas to get the most out of your next event!

Tradeshow booth installation

Top Trade Show Booth Ideas in 2021

By leveraging technological advances coupled with a creative strategy, you can wow your event attendees with a trade show experience that stands out from the crowd. We know a thing or two about creating memorable events, and we’re sharing some of our favorite trade show booth ideas for 2021.

What is “Create a Game Show,” Alex

Capitalize on foot traffic by creating a game show. Doing so provides an opportunity for you to engage with attendees and incorporate your brand messaging in a fun and organic way. It’s no secret that people love to win, and by providing an element of success, you’re connecting your brand to their emotions in a positive light. While prize wheels, gaming apps, and contests are some of the more common game types, check out this list for more inspiration and take your competition to the next level.

Young man using virtual reality goggles at a tradeshow

Make Virtual Reality a Reality

There is a ton of buzz around virtual reality, but the truth is that many people don’t have regular access or have never experienced it at all. This accessibility gap helps draw interest and provides a channel to deliver your message in a customized and direct way. 

Your VR content doesn’t have to be overly complex to be effective. Depending on your industry, you could create a 360° degree tour of your facility, immersive product tutorials, or leverage the most popular VR games on the market just to have fun. VR is becoming increasingly available from a cost standpoint and is a great tool to increase engagement.

Graphic recording sketch for tradeshow

Visualize Your Messaging with a Live Graphic Recording Artist

Trade shows are typically high-energy and high-activity forums. Distractions are everywhere, and attendees are continuously getting pushed and pulled in different directions. That makes it challenging to deliver effective messaging and even harder to ensure that users retain your message.

Aligning your presentation with the help of a live graphic recording artist is a terrific way to make your ideas actionable and understandable. An illustrator will join your event and capture your content through dynamic visual summaries, ensuring that your message is concise and memorable. Not to mention the finished product is a heck of a photo booth opp. You can even make it interactive, where booth attendees can contribute an idea, thought, or statement, and watch as the Graphic Recorder brings their input to life through real-time sketched visuals. New to graphic recording? Check out our definitive guide to live and virtual sketching here

Lounge area at a trade show

Comfort Among the Chaos

As we previously mentioned, trade shows are high-energy and require a lot of time on your feet. By offering an environment that allows attendees to relax or recharge, you can communicate your message in a less forward-leaning manner. Provide a comfortable lounge area with complimentary beverages or phone charging stations and create an inviting atmosphere conducive to conversation. If food vendors are few and far between, it won’t hurt to have some snacks on hand too!

Row of multi-colored water bottles symbolizing trade show "swag"

Swag Bag

People love free stuff, and trade shows are full of it.  

Capitalize on that excitement by offering swag with a purpose. Chances are your branded pens will get lost. Get creative and think about the needs of your users. What can you reasonably offer that will provide value?

Some of our favorite branded items include:

  • Portable chargers
  • Bluetooth speakers & headphones
  • Tote bags – you have to keep the swag somewhere!
  • Koozies
  • Lip balm
  • Reusable water bottles
  • T-shirts & apparel

 

Piggy Back on Viral Moments

While trade shows are lots of fun, they can also feel exhausting. Constantly being sold to can lead attendees to feel guarded. Break down those walls with humor. Incorporating viral memes or pop culture references aligned with your message can help create an emotional connection that demonstrates your brand on a human level. 

Guests won’t remember every booth they visited, but they will remember the ones that made them laugh.

Lead a Scavenger Hunt with Unique Prizes

Earlier in this post, we touched on the impact of giveaways and wanting to win. Capitalize on both of those human elements with a scavenger hunt aligned with your targeted messaging. AR or augmented reality is incredibly popular, and there are tons of applications designed specifically for trade show events. This can be done within practically any trade show floor plan and can be limited to just your booth or more expansive, depending on your goals.

Think about how you can incorporate your branding and offer something that will entice users to engage in the interactive experience.

Offer a Specific Deal

To maximize post-event engagement, consider offering a deal available only to trade show attendees. This can be seen as a sign of appreciation for attendance and provides more value to potential customers. Providing a special offer will help you close deals the same day as it incentives attendees to engage and make a decision sooner rather than later. Promotions generate excitement, and that’s what your booth should be all about.

Man using social media on smart phone

Leverage social media

Social media and event marketing should be a focal point of your strategy. A carefully crafted social media campaign around your event can do wonders for your engagement and getting in front of your target audience. Utilize the most appropriate social media platforms to generate event & brand awareness and also as a tool to engage with your audience. 

Offering an incentive to like your pages is a great way to build your following and get your message in front of the right audience. Hashtags and live-tweeting can build awareness, and incorporating attendees in your posts will create lasting connections.

Hire a Trade Show Booth Consultant or Event Planner

The trade show market is more competitive than ever, and that’s why it’s crucial to ensure your trade show booth design stands out from the rest. While offering incentives and interactive giveaways are critical for engagement, your exhibition design is even more so. If you want to attract visitors, you’re going to need more than just a custom banner and branded marketing collateral. Working with an exhibition booth consultant will give you the resources to ensure you aren’t drowned out amidst all the noise.

Man taking a picture of a graphic recording sketch at an event with caption "I will actually read this"

Engage and Excite Your Attendees

If you’re looking for ways to draw people to your booth and elevate your messaging, The Sketch Effect is the partner for you. We specialize in capturing big ideas and transforming them into eye-catching and effective graphics. Our live Graphic Recording artists are the best in the business and ensure your ideas never go to waste. Get in touch with us to learn more about our In-Person Graphic Recording or video animation capabilities and how we can help you create your most awesome trade show yet.